My Monday blog

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
Biden-flation has arrived in Las Vegas in a big way.

Many Americans complained about mask mandates and restrictive lockdowns during a deadly pandemic in the spring of 2020.

The same Americans will whine about economic conditions as we emerge from the pandemic in the summer of 2021.

And that's their prerogative.

What started as a 15-day plan to "slow the spread" of coronavirus under President Donald Trump is now at 497 days under President Joe Biden's administration.

With so much government money on the street in the form of stimulus payments and unemployment benefits, the purchasing power of the American dollar has declined noticeably and short-term inflation is the order of the day.

Nevada casinos are eager to recoup losses after an unprecedented 78-day closure from mid-March to early June of last year.

Smartly, the large casino companies did not reopen their entire inventory of Las Vegas properties initially, choosing instead to open select properties until demand exceeded supply.

As the pandemic wanes, the demand for a weekend getaway to Las Vegas is rising and so, too, are the consumer prices.

Airfares to and from the gambling capitol in Nevada are soaring, car rental prices are climbing and restaurant tabs are outrageously high.

Companies like Eldorado Resorts and MGM Resorts International are counting on -- and thus courting -- tourists from Arizona and California until business travel and convention trade return later this year.

International tourism, the final piece of the Las Vegas travel pie, is expected to return sometime in 2022.

It's not an industry secret that the farther a customer travels to arrive in Las Vegas, the more valuable they are to a casino's bottom line.

Cue the middle-aged lady sitting in the race and sports book at the MGM Grand talking on her phone to a friend in southern California:

Las Vegas is no longer a bargain.

The weekend room rates are sky-high.

We paid over $500 to stay at Caesars Palace last Saturday night.

We booked through Expedia.

The taxes alone were more than $75.


The resort fees, what a rip-off, were $45.

The frustrated tourist was complaining about the pricey room rates at the city's most iconic property, but it did not stop her from booking the room in the end.

Until high prices influence travel behavior, Las Vegas will continue to charge whatever the market will bear.

Las Vegas tourists are also paying for the construction of Allegiant Stadium, whether they know it or not.

Allegiant Stadium is the domed-home of the recently-relocated Las Vegas Raiders and UNLV Rebels, a long-struggling college football program.

(Gambling sidenote: The Raiders and Rebels play at the same stadium on different playing surfaces.

The Raiders play on a grass field, a roll-in natural Bermuda grass field, similar to the one employed by the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium in Glendale.

The tray holding the natural grass is rolled over the concrete floor of the stadium which doesn't disrupt the artificial turf used by the Rebels.)


The stadium is located at 3333 Al Davis Way to honor the renegade owner of the Raiders, who died in 2011 at the age of 82.

Mark Davis inherited the team from his late father.

Papa would have been proud of his son's lucrative deal with Clark County to build a $2 billion stadium.

About $750 million (or about 37.5%) of the building costs will come from public funding, a.k.a. taxpayers.

The crafty Davis, with a net worth estimated at $500 million, convinced local authorities to add 0.88% to the hotel room tax in Clark County, or about $1.50 to every room on the Strip, to defray the cost of the 65,000-seat stadium.

Critics of the new stadium in Las Vegas point to the stark contrast between the untold wealth of 32 team owners in the National Football League and the financial struggles of the education system in Nevada.

Instead of raising taxes to provide corporate welfare for an NFL team, concerned citizens would prefer any tax hikes benefit a state educational system that ranked dead last -- 51st out of 50 states and the District of Columbia -- in a 2018 survey published by Education Week.

Nevada's scanty funding of its educational system was cited in the report as a major downfall, along with low amounts of college-educated parents in Nevada and high rates of non-English speaking students here.

Let's enjoy one last bit of eavesdropping dialogue from our conflicted friend at the MGM Grand:

We bought tickets to see Shin Lim at The Mirage.

My husband told me Shin Lim is hotter right now than David Copperfield.

Shin Lim won "America's Got Talent" three years ago.

Our son is going to the show, too.

Three tickets cost us over $500.

I looked closer at the receipt.


Each ticket came with a $50 surcharge for taxes, fees and some other shit.

Her profanity was powerful.

I respected her spontaneous show of emotion despite her lack of refinement.

However, there was an obvious conflict at play.

She was describing her situation in negative terms while still attending the popular show and enjoying the fabulous city.

Until customers change their spending habits, the high prices in Las Vegas will continue to climb.

Tourists have swallowed ubiquitous resort fees, they've absorbed senseless parking rates and now the question becomes: Will they eat "some other shit"?
 
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railbird

EOG Master
hawaii also oversold, tee times and dinner reservations all sold out, nobody went on vay kay in 2020 so everybody going out in july. and no international travels.
 

winkyduck

TYVM Morgan William!!!
If Bob Stupak was still alive he would be shaking his head at what Vegas currently is. In August 19888 I took my Sis to Vegas for the first time as a 21-year-old. We stayed at Vegas World because Stupak had an ingenious offer. For $396 we got a room for 2 nights (If we arrived on Sun-Tue we could stay one more night for free) AND $400 in quarters making the room free and a 101% ROI for us. A true no-brainer deal. We could take the $400 and spend it anywhere we wanted to spend it but we did spend some at VW. I can't imagine that being done today. I also remember weekday room rates in the Summer were almost at giveaway prices - maybe $20.

Now...........................Uh, yeah - not quite that price range

I trace this all back to when Vegas casinos offered a "Whopping 6-5 BJ" - or so said a marquee at one of the places in town. When this was offered and people were too stupid to realize what a rip-off this was it allowed Vegas casinos to tighten the screw and FFFFFFFFF people over even more. Dummies think it is only 30-cents. And that it is but it is far more than that. Stanford Wong (ho has forgotten more about BJ than most people have learned) said playing 6-5 not 3-2 BJ is like going to a movie and paying $100 when everyone else is paying $10.
But as long as people will play 6-5 BJ or - even worse - Roulette with 0, 00 AND 000 on it without getting odds that make it worth playing (Hint: there are none) people will continue to get screwed over. I will still come to town to visit Sis and maybe spend a few bucks at the sportsbook but doing what I did in the 80s won't be done now because the accountants took away any of the slight advantages players had

The old lady JK wrote about is why Vegas will continue to FFFFFFFFFF people over and not care about sharps like us not giving them our money

Nice piece JK
 

Viejo Dinosaur

EOG Master
It’s a shame what CoVid has done to Vegas…gone are the days of bargains….no more rental cars for ten bucks a day…Don’t think Railbird will be seen in Vegas anytime soon…even the locals are feeling the pinch…
 

IWishIWasAPro

EOG Dedicated
How many states can you legally place a sports bet now? The need to go to Vegas isnt there. When you're older you don't want to deal with all the bullshit. You want to sit at the old stardust and chill.

I can get a decent dinner for the price of parking for 5 hours. Go fuck yourselves.

Bovada, bookmaker. 5 legal sportsbook at my disposal. You don't need anything more.
 

mrbowling300

EOG Dedicated
To me, the strip has become one huge tourist trap....gone are the days of 3-2 black jack and 9-6 video poker. Everything else is inflated beyond reason, I can only imagine what the mob must be thinking!

In the June 2021 of Anthony Curtis's Las Vegas Advisor, there was this write up, echoing the same sentiments of JK's Monday Blog:

:"Masks are off. Plexiglass is down. Customers are tripping over themselves to come back. The casinos are posting record numbers.

Vegas is rocking!

That’s a good thing, right? Maybe. Let’s take a closer look.

Las Vegas is opening up. Fast. People are coming back. Faster. The casinos are seeing an amazing influx of business. The problem is, it’s happening so quickly that they haven’t been able to staff up properly and service glitches are everywhere. But here’s the good news (for them)—no one seems to care. Pent-up demand. Pent-up demand. Pent-up demand. It’s real! Everyone’s just happy to be jammin’ in Vegas again.

Raise prices? Easy call. Raise table minimums? Why not? Cut back on comps and promos? Give it a shot. All of a sudden, the casino honchos look at their pie charts and lo and behold! Revenue is down, but profits are up. Way up!

“Really?” they wonder. “Can we really make more money by charging more and giving back less?”

Sad but true: They can at the moment. To steal a phrase from Max Rubin’s Comp City, it’s hats-and-horns time for the casinos. Out of the darkness of the shutdown comes a shocking new mantra: “We don’t have to give away anything.” Trust me on this one. I’ve heard it voiced. Verbatim.

Call it the “pandemic reset.” Leaning on the shutdown provides the perfect opportunity to shore up those balance sheets with takebacks. Don’t bring back the buffets. Do bring back paid parking. Eliminate the smaller showrooms. Raise prices MORE.

Honestly, I thought it would go the other way—promotions galore to lure us back—but it hasn’t. Why not? Two reasons. First, everything can be blamed on the pandemic. Trust me on this one, too. Ask me why Arnold Snyder’s new book still isn’t out. Come on, it’s the pandemic (Radical Blackjack is at the printer now, I promise). Ask Caesars Entertainment why
they’ve eliminated the Laurel (formerly Diamond) Lounges and you’ll get the same answer. The second and more important reason is simply that they can. As I say, the customers are so thrilled to be back, they’ve hardly noticed.

But they will.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: It’s all about what the market will bear. That’s capitalism 101 and I don’t blame anyone for getting the most that they can. But this course of action is not sustainable. The junkies who flocked back to the machines the minute the doors reopened will run out of money. The good middle-market customers who spend well both on and off the casino floor will run out of tolerance. Just as poker fish get tired of being eaten by the sharks, so, too, will the Vegas visitor tire of the diminished experience and excessive gouge. Then what?

Right now, the casino bosses are just plain giddy and they’ll ride this new normal as long as they can. But eventually they’ll have to revert to the old normal. Comps and promos have been a part of the Las Vegas equation since the beginning, not because of any casino largesse, but because they’re necessary to entice and entitle the customer. Competition in Las Vegas is no less fierce now than it was before the pandemic. Just as has always been the case, some casino will step out of line and take advantage of the promotional opportunities that accrue to “doing it the way it used to be.” You know, BP, “before pandemic.” Then others will be forced to follow.

Hang in there. It’ll happen. It pretty much has to. In the meantime, don’t get me wrong—I’m talking about the situation in a macro sense and mostly as it applies to the biggest players. There’s still a lot to like about Las Vegas. That hasn’t changed. You just need to recognize who’s playing fair and who isn’t, then reward the good guys with your patronage. "
 

mrbowling300

EOG Dedicated
How many states can you legally place a sports bet now? The need to go to Vegas isnt there. When you're older you don't want to deal with all the bullshit. You want to sit at the old stardust and chill.

I can get a decent dinner for the price of parking for 5 hours. Go fuck yourselves.

Bovada, bookmaker. 5 legal sportsbook at my disposal. You don't need anything more.

Through draftkings, I can even play the same football contest that Westgate / Circa offers, as well as Survival Football which is comprable to what Circa offers. Don't have to travel to LV to sign up or get a proxy (no offense Sharky).
 

Abundy

EOG Addicted
Makes me think of the 5th grade school teacher with the 38 DD chest swimming up to me at the Grand the end of April wanting to taste my drink. She is not a good role model for education. Thus Nevada rates dead last. No education leads to more crime
 

waco

EOG Dedicated
I go every year and stay 4 days to get my football props bets in. This year i will leave for Vegas at 6am, get my bets in and leave. Im 3 hours away from Vegas.
 

FairWarning

Bells Beer Connoisseur
As much as I would love to go to Vegas this fall, i think I’ll just spend my money close to home. Not a thing I can’t get here outside of the weather.
 
How many states can you legally place a sports bet now? The need to go to Vegas isnt there. When you're older you don't want to deal with all the bullshit. You want to sit at the old stardust and chill.

I can get a decent dinner for the price of parking for 5 hours. Go fuck yourselves.

Bovada, bookmaker. 5 legal sportsbook at my disposal. You don't need anything more.
Do you think Las Vegas casinos ever gave a shit about sports bettors? Besides I have seen the so called sportsbooks in other states. Basically they added TV screens to the bar. The sports betting business has little future as a destination and really has no compatibility with the casino other than most states tying the licenses to casinos.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
Sports betting enthusiasts often get confused at what really drives the casino business.

It's all about slots and table games.

Many years ago, Robert Walker was the top man in the race and sports book at The Mirage.

He once told a good story about attending his first corporate meeting on a Monday morning.

The higher-ups discussed all the important aspects of the gaming operation.

They talked about hotel occupancy, retail sales, restaurant business, bar business, slot revenue, table game action, etc.

Before the meeting adjourned, the man leading the meeting asked if he had missed any department.

The lady who ran the gift shop raised her hand to provide a quick report.

"Anyone else?" asked the meeting leader.

Robert Walker raised his hand and said the race and sports book recorded a small profit for the week.
 
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John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
Not much grass in the desert of Las Vegas, but the city has a weed problem.

Marijuana dispensaries are everywhere.

The smell of weed on the Strip is inescapable.

Years ago, Las Vegas cops cracked down on marijuana users.

Not anymore.

It is technically illegal for marijuana to be consumed in public places in Nevada, but the genie is now out of the bottle and the tax revenue is rolling in.

Flashback to a Grateful Dead concert at Sam Boyd Stadium in 1990.

The "Dead Heads" were cautious in their dealings with the city's strict police department.

The saying on the street among Grateful Dead followers was: "Be careful: A seed of weed is a felony."
 
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